... czech and slovak music guide ...

Karel Bendl

born: 1838-04-16
died: 1897-09-20
birthplace: Praha
diedplace: Praha

Czech composer, conductor, singer, choirmaster and teacher. He also used the nickname Podskalsky. He was born to a poor family; first a glovemaker apprentice, in 1855-1858 studied the organ school in Prague under Karel Pietsche. With his pleasant tenor, he performed in public since his youth. Co-founder of the Czech national men's choir Hlahol (1861). In 1864 he left for the study trip abroad. He acted shortly as a conductor in Brussels and Amsterdam . In 1865 after Smetana's resignation, he took over the choirmaster position in Hlahol, which he performed till 1877. In 1878 - 1881 he worked in Italy (Lugano, Nice, Milano). After his return to Prague, he was an editor of musical magazines and anthologies, conductor and professor of Prague conservatory (where he replaced Dvorak after at the time of his stay in America). His musical works competed the popularity of Smetana and Dvorak in that times. He wrote mostly vocal compositions (songs, choruses, cantatas, operas). As the first Czech composer, he also wrote music for children. The premiere of his opera Leila was conducted in 1868 by Smetana in the Interim Theatre.

  • Songs (e.g. Gypsy Melodies 1881, see samples)
  • Church choral works (e.g. Mass in D Minor)
  • Violin Sonata
  • String Quartet in F Major op. 119
  • Operas
    • Leila , 1868
    • Bretislav and Jitka , 1870
    • The Old Groom , 1883
    • Dite Tabora (Child of Tabor) , 1892


Mala encyklopedie hudby (book by dr. Jar. Smolka; &kolektiv, Supraphon 1983)


Hoj, divoky jen cigan jsem (MP3) (Roman Janal vocal, Karel Kosarek piano, CD Gypsy Melodies, Supraphon 2005)
Kdyz mne stara matka (MP3) (Roman Janal vocal, Karel Kosarek piano, CD Gypsy Melodies, Supraphon 2005)

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Last update 2012-07-04